Unescorted AOA Access Information

Having unescorted Aircraft Operations Area (AOA) access is a serious responsibility. Aircraft are designed for their flight characteristics and not their ground handling performance. Many aircraft lack optimal visibility while on the ground and as a person with unescorted AOA access, it is your responsibility to stay clear of aircraft and maintain a safety-first approach to everything you do.

The Aircraft Operations Area (AOA) is the portion of the airport which is specially designed for aircraft which taxis from their hangars or tie down location to the runways via ramps, taxiways, and/or taxi lanes.

If your use of the airport requires unescorted AOA access, either movement or non-movement, you are required to complete the following prior to requesting access:

Pass the Self-Assessment Evaluation FAA Ground Vehicle Operations Manual (PDF)
Understand the Airport Configuration St. Louis Downtown Airport AOA Manual
Understand How Important a “Safety First” Attitude Is Sample Ground Vehicle Operations Training Manual
Take the AOA Access Exam (Movement) AOA Movement Exam
Take the AOA Access Exam (Non-Movement) AOA Non-Movement Exam

You are NOT authorized to drive (or walk) on the airfield until the request form is completed, you have provided the required information, and you have passed the Unescorted AOA Access Test. If you have any questions about the content of these documents or the process to be approved for unescorted access to the AOA, please contact Colin Rolerkite for more information.

Please Note: You are required to register yearly, pass the applicable tests yearly, and conduct yourself professionally daily. Any person(s) found violating any provision of the associated documents of this request may have his or her unescorted AOA access revoked.

Unescorted AOA Education and Regulation

Everyone who desires unescorted access within the Aircraft Operations Area (AOA), must meet unescorted AOA access requirements including airport driver’s training and knowledge tests at least once annually. Persons who will only require access to the Non-Movement Area (ramps, hangars, tie downs, etc.) are only required to take the “NON-MOVEMENT AREA” Test. Persons who will require access to the Movement Area (runways, taxiways, other designated locations) must take the “NON-MOVEMENT AREA” test and the “MOVEMENT AREA” test.

No person is granted unescorted AOA access without first completing the Request Unescorted AOA Access Form. Once the form has been completed, you will be directed on how to proceed. You may NOT drive on the AOA until you have received confirmation that your request for access has been granted and you have passed the applicable test(s).

The following information is presented as additional required information in addition to the official Federal Aviaion Administration Ground Vehicle Operations Manual (PDF) **. All drivers should be familiar with the official FAA guide, and should have passed the self-assessment included in that document before requesting unescorted AOA access. Persons may also find the official Sample Ground Vehicle Operations Manual from which all of the following information is based upon.

No person shall operate motorized equipment of any kind on the Airport without a valid Operator’s License and prior permission from the Airport Director. A card to operate the electronic gate controlling access to ramp areas and a “Ramp Access” windshield decal may be obtained provided:

1. Airport management considers access to be necessary or required

2. Request supplies a copy of current vehicle liability insurance (the declaration sheet that shows the amount of coverage) for any and all vehicles they drive onto ramp areas – Minimum liability coverages are as follows:

$500,000 Per Accident
$100,000 Property Liability Per Accident, or
$500,000 Combined Liability Limit

3. Approved card holders keep the liability insurance records current at all times (Failure to do so shall result in their gate card[s] being canceled)

4. Card holders do not pass their gate card to any other person to use – Any violation of the provision of the rules contained in this section will result in the violator’s gate card(s) being invalidated

5. A security fee of $25 is collected for each card issued, with “Ramp Access” decals provided for each vehicle at no cost

  1. No person shall, while on ramps, taxiways or other active aircraft areas:
    1. Operate a motor vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner
    2. Operate a motor vehicle on a ramp or congested area at a speed in excess of 10 MPH
    3. Fail to give proper signals
    4. Fail to obey posted directions or other traffic signs
    5. Operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages or narcotics
    6. Operate a motor vehicle while carrying more passengers than for which the vehicle was designated, while any occupant is riding outside the body of that vehicle, or with arms or legs protruding from vehicle
    7. Block or obstruct any entrance, fire gate, hangar, or be parked within the obstacle free zone of a defined surface
    8. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic shall, at all times, yield the right of way to aircraft
    9. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic shall, at all times, pass to the rear of taxiing aircraft or aircraft on which the propeller is turning – Use caution to avoid propeller or jet blast
  2. All vehicles authorized to operate on taxiways and runways shall:
    1. Have constant radio communication with ground control operators, or be escorted by a vehicle with ground control communication
    2. Receive permission from Ground Control Operators before entering or moving from place to place on any taxiway or runway (Unauthorized entry is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by fine)
    3. Have an amber or white rotating or flashing beacon on top of said vehicle, or be escorted by an equipped vehicle
    4. Park at a distance of at least 100 feet to the outside of the runway lights when parking adjacent to a runway
    5. Use headlights and taillights that are visible for at least 500 feet between the hours of sunset and sunrise
    6. Avoid shining headlights toward operating aircraft or active landing areas to prevent creating landing illusions or blinding pilots
  3. Parking:
    1. In any area other than those specifically established for parking is prohibited
    2. In parking areas other than in positions designated by marked lines or posted signs is prohibited
    3. Adjacent to, or in front of a T-Hangar (a structure that looks like a ‘T’ from the air) is prohibited
    4. In designated parking areas or inside hangars is permitted to hangar tenants or airport staff only
    5. In violation of published rules or posted signs will result in airport management towing, moving, or immobilizing vehicles – Such movement or immobilization shall be at the expense of the owner, and airport management assumes no liability for any damage arising from said movement
  4. Vehicle and Aircraft Repair: In order to protect the general use areas of the airport, and prevent encroachment upon the rights of users, no owner or other person shall clean or make repairs to vehicles or aircraft anywhere other than in areas designated for that purpose.
  5. Tampering: Except as otherwise provided, no person, other than the owner, shall move, interfere or tamper with any motor vehicle or aircraft, or put into motion, take, or use any part there from, without the permission of the owner, or satisfactory evidence of the right to do so duly presented to Airport management.
  6. Ground Transportation: No vehicle or aircraft for hire shall load or unload materials or passengers at any place other than areas designated by Airport management.
  7. Violations: Violations of any of the above rules and regulations can result in the offenders gate card(s) being invalidated and ramp access privileges revoked.